Any person or company wishing to undertake insurance business (as defined in the Insurance Act 1973) must obtain an authorisation from APRA to do so under the Insurance Act 1973. For APRA’s authorisation guidelines for general insurers, click here.
From 1 July 2008, the definition of insurance business in the Act clarifies that, with certain exceptions, all companies conducting business either directly or through the actions of another (for example, an insurance agent or broker) must be authorised by APRA under the Act, regardless of whether or not the person or company holds an authorisation in an overseas jurisdiction.
General insurers authorised by APRA under the Insurance Act 1973 to undertake new or renewal business in Australia are listed on Register of Authorised Insurers on this website.
The Insurance Act 1973 also provides for a limited exemption to enable insurance business that cannot be appropriately placed in Australia to be provided by an unauthorised foreign insurer (UFIs).
‘Unauthorised foreign insurer’ is a term that was introduced in 2008 to make it clear that these insurers are not authorised as general insurers and replaces the previous term, ‘Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers’ (DOFIs).
The types of insurance business that can be provided by an UFI are insurance contracts for:
- atypical risks;
- high-value insureds; and
- other risks that cannot reasonably be placed in Australia.
For a link to the Insurance Amendment Regulations 2008 regarding the exemption arrangements for UFIs, click here.
Reporting in relation to UFIs
General insurance intermediaries are required under the Corporations Amendment Regulations 2009 (No. 11) to provide data to APRA about their dealings in general insurance business, particularly their dealings with UFIs. For information about the reporting requirements for general insurance intermediaries, click here.
Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Discretionary Mutual Funds and Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers) Act 2007
Reporting Requirements for Dealings with Unauthorised Foreign Insurers and in Atypical Risks - Draft Regulations (11 September 2009)
Regulation of Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers - Draft Regulations (29 May 2008)
Regulation of Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers - Draft Regulations (28 April 2008)
APRA extends deadline for foreign insurers No. 08.11 (26 May 2008) (APRA media release)
APRA and ASIC reminder about foreign insurance business No. 08.07 (08 April 2008) (APRA media release)
Regulation of Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers - Limited Exemption Arrangements No 021 (08 April 2008) (Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs media release)